Whether you’re traveling by plane, train, car, bus, or cruise ship, a good pair of headphones for the kids is an absolute must. The best kids’ headphones are safe for little ears and shaped for comfort on kid-sized heads. They also need to have a certain cool factor.
The Best Headphones for Kids
From wireless headphones and earbuds to headphones made especially for babies and toddlers, here are our picks for the best headphones for kids in 2021.
1. Baby Banz Earmuffs
Best for: Babies
The Baby Banz Earmuffs Baby Headphones are designed for protecting a baby’s ears and blocking out loud, harmful sounds. Ideal for ages zero to two, these baby headphones feature a soft ear cushion and an adjustable sliding band. “Lightweight and works like a charm,” says one Amazon reviewer. “Probably the best 30 bucks I’ve ever spent,” says another.
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When you’re on vacation, Baby Banz are perfect for blocking out sounds from a sporting or music event, fireworks show, or parade. “These worked perfectly for my six-week-old son,” notes another reviewer. “We used them during a marching band parade . . . and he slept the entire time.”
2. CozyPhones Kids Headphones
Best for: Toddlers
The CozyPhones Kids Headphones are both fun and comfortable. “A must for travel,” according to one Amazon reviewer, these washable, soft fleece headphones fit around the head like a headband and can also double as a sleep mask. Kids love the “extra soft” and “cute, comfy, and cozy” designs like unicorn, fox, panda, Paw Patrol, and Batman themes. Parents love that these headphones protect little ears with a speaker limit of 90 dB. “They’re the first headphones [my daughter] hasn’t complained about wearing,” raves another user.
3. LilGadgets Untangled PRO Kids Headphones
Best for: Little kids and siblings
The LilGadgets Untangled PRO Kids Headphones are the perfect set of headphones for keeping the peace among siblings. These Bluetooth wireless headphones come in six solid, bright colors.
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But the best feature is that a second listener can plug in and listen to the same device. One child can be connected wirelessly and a second child can connect through the SharePort without a splitter or any special cables. Add to that the fact that they offer 12 hours of battery life (and that a portion of each purchase goes toward bullying prevention) and it’s easy to see why these headphones are an easy keep-the-peace purchase. “The best kid-friendly headphone you can buy,” says one five-star review on Amazon.
4. iClever Kids Headphones
Best for: Toddlers and little kids
Described by reviewers as “an excellent buy” with “a well thought-out design,” the iClever Kids Headphones feature soft ear cushions and an adjustable-yet-snug headband so they stay on little ears. These wired toddler headphones feature a volume limit of 94 dB, a not-too-loud maximum volume level to protect younger kids. These toddler headphones are lightweight and foldable, too, which means they fit easily in a kids’ carry-on bag or backpack.
5. Riwbox Bluetooth Light-Up Headphones
Best for: Tweens
The Riwbox Kids Headphones light up! Need we say more? These foldable wireless headphones (praised as “reasonably priced and reliable” and “absolutely stellar kids headphones” by reviewers) feature LED lights on both sides that flash up or down with the beat of the music.
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You can also turn off the LED lights to conserve battery life (or if you’re on a crowded plane where others may be trying to sleep). Kids can control the music and volume directly on the headphones as well. An included audio cable turns these into wired headphones for phone calls or if the battery dies.
6. Beats Solo3 Wireless Headphones
Best For: Teens and Disney fans
These Beats Solo3 Wireless On-Ear Headphones are gray with a Mickey Mouse design. Disney fans will love the look of these trendy headphones while also enjoying the high-performance sound. These wireless headphones feature up to 40 hours of battery life and multi-function on-ear controls. They offer comfortable cushion ear cups and are durable and foldable. A carrying case and RemoteTalk cable are included. Amazon reviewers give these headphones an average score of 4.5 out of 5 based on more than 10,000 reviews.
What to Look for in Kids Headphones
When shopping for headphones for kids, be on the lookout for the following features:
- Volume Limiting: This will prevent youngsters from maxing out the volume at a dangerous level for their ears. Choose kids headphones that cap the volume at roughly 90 decibels.
- Durability: Your kid’s headphones are bound to take a beating. Choose a pair that’s both sturdy and flexible.
- Connecting Cable: The cables are especially susceptible to damage since they’re so delicate. If you buy headphones with a removable cable, you can easily replace the cable without having to replace your kid’s headphones entirely.
- Padding: Find kids headphones that offer a secure, but not-too-tight fit with soft padding.
This article on headphones for kids was originally published in May 2020. It has been updated to reflect the most current information and product availability.